A few years ago a friend left Chrysler to go to work for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Last night he leaked a document that will be sent out to all Japanese motorcycle dealers on Monday:
"After extensive research NHTSA has determined that a fault exists that has caused numerous injuries and even some fatalities. Effective immediately all chain driven motorcycles that are assembled or repaired must have the axles inserted from the right (throttle) side of the motor vehicle. All the axle nuts will be installed on the left (clutch) side of the motor vehicle. NHTSA has discovered that if the wheel bearings fail the axle can rotate in the swinging arm or forks. If the axle nut is on the right side of the vehicle the axle will cause the axle nut to loosen and possibly even fall off. If the nut is installed on the left side the rotating axle will tighten the nut. Even motorcycles that are at the dealership for reasons other than service should have the axles corrected at no charge to the owners. Refer to the flyer (attached) that can be handed out to operators to advise them to correct this condition immediately."
Even though this is targeted as Asian manufacturers I assume that it will also be sent to domestic and European dealerships.
[Edit 1 times, last edit by gbrady]